10 GREAT ESCAPES.Byline: Eric Noland Travel Editor
Walk through a fantasy land of blazing neon, spy a gray whale swimming in a pristine ocean channel, hike into a rugged canyon or lose your breath on a plunging roller coaster. These are just a few of the attractions awaiting people seeking a fun outing in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. and its surrounding communities. All of the diversions can be sampled readily - in many cases with a minimal expenditure of money. Here are 10 escapes sure to deliver enjoyment:
Mulholland Drive For the motion picture, see .
Mulholland Drive is a very well-known road in Los Angeles, California named after engineer William Mulholland. A portion of it is also called Mulholland Highway.
Superb views of the Valley can be had on this 1920s road that contorts along the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains The Santa Monica Mountains are a low transverse range in southern California in the United States. Geography
They run for approximately 40 mi (64 km) east-west from the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County. . Try the 13-mile stretch between the 405 and 101 freeways and you'll find a number of viewpoint turnouts the serve up the panorama of the Valley or the L.A. basin to the south. Be sure to stop at the Hollywood Bowl The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheatre at 2301 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, California, USA, that is used primarily for music performances. The "bowl" in this context is the natural cavity in the earth into which the amphitheater is built, rather than the shape of the overlook just west of the 101 Freeway.
Get out on the water - it's gray whale season! The majestic leviathans will be swimming through the Santa Barbara Channel The Santa Barbara Channel is that part of the Pacific Ocean which separates the mainland of California from the northern Channel Islands. It is generally south of the city of Santa Barbara, and west of the city of Ventura. until the end of March, and Island Packers, right next door to the Channel Islands National Park Channel Islands National Park: see Santa Barbara Islands; National Parks and Monuments (table). Visitors Center at Ventura Harbor, is offering 3 1/2-hour boat rides to get a close look at them. Or head out to one of the Channel Islands on one of Island Packers' day trips, and do some exploring on foot. 1691 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, (805) 642-1393, www.islandpackers.com. Whale-watch boat: $24 adults, $16 children (ages 12 and under), $21 seniors (age 55 and up).
San Fernando San Fernando, city, Argentina
San Fernando (săn fərnăn`dō), city (1991 pop. 144,761), Buenos Aires prov., E Argentina. It is a district administrative center in the Greater Buenos Aires area. Mission
Early California history comes alive at the place where the 17th link in the mission chain was founded in 1797. The fourth incarnation of the mission church, dating to 1806, still stands today, along with other early 1800s buildings. Some rooms are fashioned to look as they would have then - and you'll probably agree that the beds look frightfully uncomfortable. The exhibits could use more informational placards, though. 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, (818) 361-0186. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $4 adults, $3 children (ages 7-15).
You might scratch your head over paying $8 to park at an enclave of retail and restaurant establishments, but kids love the cartoonish building facades, the virtual-reality rides (NASCAR NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), organization that sanctions American stock-car races, est. 1948. It held its first race in Daytona Beach, Fla. stock cars, Xtreme Ride Cinema) and the cool stuff in the stores. This is what visitors expect Hollywood to look like - and what it would look like if the studios had designed it: a pink caddy A plastic container that holds a CD or DVD disc for added protection. The bare disc is placed in the caddy, and the caddy is inserted into the drive. A caddy is not a jewel case. A jewel case protects the disc for transportation. A caddy protects the disc while reading and writing. convertible crashing through a freeway sign, a blue King Kong hanging off a building, an enormous Fender Stratocaster poised in front of the Hard Rock Cafe Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of casual dining restaurants. It was founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, and their first Hard Rock Cafe opened near Hyde Park Corner in London, in a former Rolls Royce car dealerships showroom close to Hyde Park, where in 1979 they began to . If you take in a movie at the 18-screen multiplex, they'll rebate you $2 on the parking. CityWalk is located in the elbow formed by Lankershim Boulevard and the 101 Freeway. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. (818) 622-4455, www.citywalkhollywood.com.
Savor the charms of the Santa Susana Mountains The Santa Susana Mountains are a transverse range of mountains in southern California, north of the city of Los Angeles, in the United States. The range runs east-west separating the San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley on its south from Santa Clara River Valley to the north and - and the knobby sandstone rocks that gave this 4,400-acre park its name - at the east end of the Simi Valley. If you want to get some exercise and enjoy a fabulous view all at once, tackle the 6-mile round trip Rocky Peak Trail. On clear days - pretty common in winter - the summit will afford sweeping views of the San Fernando and Simi valleys, as well as Anacapa Island to the west. Exit the westbound 118 Freeway at Rocky Peak Road; the trailhead is immediately to your right at the bottom of the offramp. (Note: There is no eastbound exit for this road).
Avoid the heavy breakfast before taking on any of the 15 roller coasters at this amusement park in Valencia. Nostalgia buffs will enjoy Magic Mountain's old standard, Colossus Colossus - (A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
A wooden roller coaster or woodie is most often classified as a roller coaster with laminated steel running rails overlaid upon a wooden track. Occasionally, the structure may be made out of a steel lattice or truss, but the ride remains classified as a wooden in the West. Younger daredevils might be drawn to the park's newest thrill ride, X, in which the vehicles spin forward or backward 360 degrees on an independent axis - with some dizzying, face-first plunges. 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, (661) 255-4100, www.sixflags.com/parks/magicmountain. Open weekends during the winter, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (contact park for exact days and hours). Admission $45 for adults, $30 for children (48 inches and under), $30 for seniors.
Warner Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) . Studio Tour
The appeal of this tour is that it is conducted on a working back lot, such that the features of the tour might change daily depending on what locales are being used at any particular time. If you're lucky, you might pay a visit to Laramie Street, where such disparate shows and movies as ``Bonanza,'' ``F-Troop,'' ``Unforgiven'' and ``Blazing Saddles'' were shot. Or you might see the all-American street used for ``The Music Man'' and the ``Gilmore Girls.'' Some walking is involved on the two-hour tour, and because these are working sets, no children under 8 are permitted. Park at the Gate 3 parking structure, 4301 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Cost is $32. Advance reservations required: (818) 954-1744. wbsf.warnerbros.com (click on VIP Studio Tours).
NoHo Arts District
Bohemia takes root in the Valley, although the metamorphosis of North Hollywood is very much a work in progress. Radiating out from the ``T'' formed by Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards, you'll find small dramatic theaters with brightly painted facades, comedy clubs, shops selling stage props and vintage clothing (Screaming Rags, for example), ceramics galleries, arts centers and the occasional sidewalk cafe. But also mixed in are auto body shops, second-hand TV stores and smutty smut
a. A particle of dirt.
b. A smudge made by soot, smoke, or dirt.
a. Obscenity in speech or writing.
a. book purveyors - but give the neighborhood points for effort. At the vintage El Portal Theater (corner of Lankershim and Weddington) you might see a modern dance performance one night, a documentary on Cesar Chavez the next.
Devil's Punchbowl Punchbowl, hill, 500 ft (152 m) high, in the city of Honolulu, SE Oahu island, Hawaii. In the bowllike extinct volcanic crater at the summit (reached by a scenic drive) is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, for those killed in World War II.
This 1,300-acre county park on the rim of the Antelope Valley is a rugged and fascinating wilderness of tortured rocks that jut into the air - owing to its location just a mile from the famed San Andreas Fault San Andreas fault, great fracture (see fault) of the earth's crust in California. It is the principal fault of an intricate network of faults extending more than 600 mi (965 km) from NW California to the Gulf of California. . A one-mile loop trail leads down into the bowl-shaped canyon. An easier one-third-mile hike is also available. Visitors center. No fee to enter the park. 28000 Devil's Punchbowl Road, Pearblossom, (661) 944-2743, parks.co.la.ca.us/devil-narea.html.
Autry Museum of Western Heritage
The Singing Cowboy and the stewards of his legacy amassed quite a trove of Old West artifacts artifacts
see specimen artifacts. and art. The collection features more than 70,000 items - from shooting irons to shot glasses - and is presented in a gleaming 50,000-square-foot facility. Exhibits also examine the late Gene Autry's movie career (and those of other Western heroes). Kids can hop into a saddle and be projected onto a big screen as a participant in a classic chase scene. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, (323) 667-2000, www.autry-museum.org. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. (Free on Thursdays after 4 p.m., and open until 8 p.m.) Admission $7.50 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 60 and up), $3 for children (ages 3-12).
10 photos, map
(1 -- color) Rocky Peak
(2 -- color) Mulholland Drive
(3 -- color) Channel Islands
(4 -- color) Magic Mountain
(5 -- color) Devil's Punchbowl
(6 -- color) Autry Museum of Western Heritage
(7 -- color) NoHo Arts District
(8 -- color) San Fernando Mission
(9 -- color) Universal CityWalk
(10 -- color) Warner Bros. Studio Tour
no caption (San Fernando Valley and surrounding communities)
Eric Noland/Travel Editor
Jon Gerung/Staff Artist